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Community Connections | Inclusion, Citizen Engagement, Children And Youth

Autism Calgary Association

We are a community of families, caregivers, and supportive professionals collectively striving for a supportive, accepting and understanding community for individuals and families living with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). We're a grassroots, community association made up of over 1700 individuals and families living with ASD.

Our Impact

What We Do

Our mission is to bring hope and help meet the needs of families and individuals living with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD):

  • Speak: Be the voice of families and individuals living with ASD
  • Educate: Increase awareness and understanding of ASD
  • Advocate: Secure and defend the best quality of life for those with ASD throughout their lifespan and their families
  • Promote: Encourage the advancement of meaningful research and the development of effective treatment options

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In 2015 we served over 1500 individuals and families to find information, support and a sense of community! Through family support (advocacy, information & referral) and peer to peer networking, ACA helps families and individuals become knowledgeable, independent self-advocates. Through Public and Community Education, ACA empowers the community through greater awareness and understanding of Autism Spectrum Disorders.

Since 1992 we have been the grassroots organization in Calgary to empower individuals and families living with Autism. We have gone from zero to 10 staff and are now on the forefront of many exciting autism initiatives including employment programs, social policy research and are the lead agency for a city wide network of autism related organizations (non-profits and private businesses). All our staff are either parents of an individual with ASD, are a relative of someone with ASD or have ASD themselves. We pride ourselves on being a community of families helping families.

Since our inception in 1992 the prevelance of ASD has gone from 1 in 2500 to 1 in 86 in Calgary. We estimate that currently there are 6856 individuals (of all ages) in Calgary with ASD. These soaring prevelance rates have vastly increased our demand for services!

 

 

Our Programs

How We Do It

To accomplish our mission we have several program streams and initiatives:

1. Family Support: Autism Calgary works one-on-one with families and individuals living with ASD to support them and advocate for them in a variety of ways. Our Family Support team are all parents of children and adults with ASD who can help you navigate the school, government or service system and also lend a listening ear.

2. Support Groups: We run many support groups such as Keeping It Together (Mothers of Children with ASD), Carers (Caregivers of adults with ASD), Asperger’s Network Support Groups (adults with Asperger’s Syndrome), Father’s Autism Network Support Group and the Biomedical Support Group (discussing and sharing alternative treatment options for ASD.

3. Public and Community Education: Autism Calgary also hosts regular, complimentary workshops on a variety of topics for individuals and families and has the largest Autism-specific resource library in Canada with free access for all members.

4. Peer-2-Peer Networking: With a variety of social opportunities and groups Autism Calgary strives to foster peer-to-peer networks for youth and adults with ASD. The Go-Group is for youth aged 18-35 with Asperger’s Syndrome who meet weekly to participate, as a group, in the community at large. The Autism Calgary Choir is a social and recreational opportunity for teenagers and young adults with ASD to enjoy music and have some fun too. The Pokemon club is a popular group for youth and adults which meets twice monthly to play Pokemon cards and socialize in a safe environment.

5. Employment Initiatives: Recently Autism Calgary has also become a leader in the Autism employment scene starting two successful initiatives to employ adults with ASD. Meticulon Consulting, started by ACA, is now its own social enterprise employing 10 consultants with ASD. Spectrum Advantage is a one-of-a-kind program to provide life skills and employment readiness training as well as paid internships to young adults with ASD with the ultimate goal of finding participants ongoing employment. This program just completed a successful pilot helping to find employment for 35 young adults (83% of participants) with ASD in Calgary.

Our Requests

What You Can Do

Autism Calgary only exists because of the generous support it receives from the community! Every single dollar we receive goes directly towards supporting families and individuals living with Autism Spectrum Disorder in Calgary and area. Your generosity can help:

  • a family avert a major crisis
  • a young adult with Autism find their first job
  • a new Canadian family find the medical, educational and family support they need for their disabled child
  • a confused mother and father realing from the news that their toddler has Autism
  • a single parent get the childcare and therapy their child needs

If you would like to sign up for free membership to Autism Calgary and receive free information and have access to our library visit: http://www.autismcalgary.com/about/membership/.

Welcome to the Autism Calgary family!

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“You don’t know how lonely it is 

I feel it every day

I appreciate what you’ve done 

Just help me find my way”  

 – Quote from David W. Eastman 1963-1988.

An accident claimed David’s life at the age of 25. David, a non-verbal, autistic adult will be remembered by his poetry which gives insight into the thoughts and feelings of a person with autism. – See more at: http://www.autismcalgary.com/what-is-asd/#sthash.JnPFalmg.dpuf

Contact

Meg Konditi

Autism Calgary Association

403.250.5033

Charitable Number: 141096701RR0001

Visit Our Website

Annual Operating Budget:

1191824